Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: John Flannigan Murphy
Heroine: Livvy Andrews
Date of Publication: January 31, 2011
Started On: February 23, 2011
Finished On: February 25, 2011
My emotions still haven’t settled down from the overload that Sweet as Sin subjected them to. My first encounter with Inez Kelley’s writing came about when I picked up her erotic contemporary novella Lipstick on His Collar which instantly shot her right into the list of authors that I absolutely must look out for. Even then, somehow I missed out on the fact that this was out until I saw someone on Goodreads who has read this story and fell head over heels in lust and in love with the book. And that is exactly what happened to me when I opened this sinful goody and delved into the very wonderful and beautiful story Inez Kelley has brought to life, that touched something deep inside of me & still refuses to let go.
John Flannigan Murphy is the son of a hooker and never knew his father. When Reverend Alan Warner marries John’s mother and decides to “save” her from herself and the world of sin, John’s life takes a turn for the worse when his mother dies succumbing to breast cancer. From 11 years of age till he had turned 16, John had borne the brunt of his stepfather’s hatred towards him and the constant physical and emotional abuse which had known no bounds. Protecting his half-sister Gina at all costs had been their mother’s dying wish which John fulfills too well when he is sentenced to serve time for manslaughter. Now a young adult fiction author who goes by the name of J. B. Flannigan, John is a tormented soul who lives at the very edge of the destructive path he has chosen for himself until he meets his new neighbor who manages to worm her way into his heart and other emotions which has no place in his life; until there is no place to run or hide from how feels.
Sexy, beautiful and vibrant pastry chef Livvy Andrews, owner of Sugar Shack knows from the first moment she lays eyes on the ruggedly handsome John Murphy with his deep navy blue eyes; a man she knows is made for hard work, hard play and heartache right in that very order, Livvy’s instincts are dead on when the first thing she wants to do is bolt and stay as far away from her delectable new neighbor as possible. But Livvy’s fascination for a man who makes her feel things that she has never ever felt before by just merely fastening his blue-eyed gaze on her propels her towards John and his lethal brand of seduction like a moth to flame and before she knows it, Livvy is hopelessly ensnared and head over heels in love with John against her better judgement as well as that of others who are close to her.
John’s only intention when he meets Livvy is to have a hot and heavy affair with her until their explosive affair runs its due course. But his best laid plans go all awry when his 38 year old heart begins to hope for the very first time in his life for things that John has long since decided he is not worthy of, and to him Livvy signifies everything that he doesn’t deserve right from the cinnamon colored curls on the top of her head to her delectable toes and every inch in between that tempts him unlike anything else has in his life.
Piece by piece, with the help of Gina, Livvy begins to piece together the complexity of the man she has fallen for, and is determined to stay beside regardless of whatever John might throw her way to run from the depth of the feelings that develop and overwhelm both of them within such a short span of time. And it is a battle that Livvy almost succeeds in winning until John throws in her face the one thing from her past that would serve as the deal breaker, breaking her heart and very soul in the process.
Told from both Livvy and John’s points of views, the story that unfolds right along with the sizzling attraction between John and Livvy is of the kind that you wouldn’t want to put down even for a moment. Inez Kelley certainly pulls no punches with this one, whether it be the intense connection that springs up between John and Livvy from day one to details of John’s past that are horrifying and heartbreaking to even think of. The side characters are well developed lending a rich feel to the emotionally gut-wrenching story that takes place which left me reeling from the intensity of each and every emotion that coursed through me.
Protectiveness for a boy who learnt to fight his battles from day one and learnt to deal with the evil side of life with his talent for spinning a dark tale to keep the monsters away, surged deep within me and am sure every reader that has picked up this book would feel the same way. I hurt and bled for John as I read along, wanting to love him, to brush the lock of hair that tends to fall on his forehead aside and place a kiss right there and cherish him for everything he has been and everything he is and so much more. Livvy’s character is so very endearing and so beautiful inside and out, and exactly what John needs to face his demons and lay his past to rest, because he deserves nothing less.
There are no magical solutions to ANY of the problems discussed at length in the novel which makes it one of the utmost favorite erotic contemporary romances I have read to date. The characters from John’s stories lend something extra to the story giving it an edge that certainly makes one sit up and notice Inez Kelly’s ability to spin a tale worth re-reading from time to time. I think I can go all night long rehashing what made this story work for me and why I would recommend it to every single person I know, because yes, it is that good. And I couldn’t have asked for more in a hero, a heroine or the very well done love scenes of the wicked and tender variety that took place leaving me hungry for more of the same from the author. If this is what Inez Kelley can do with a full length novel, I say bring it on! I would be one of the first ones to queue up to buy the book – even if it were to be sold in the remotest corner of the world.
He bent and held his lips just above the curve of her neck. “This is what I want to taste.”She swallowed hard but didn’t move. His lips barely landed on her skin. She still smelled of frosting and his tongue flicked out to taste her. Sugar, Sugar and salt.
Fast and loud, her breath echoed in the room. She tilted her head a fraction, and it was enough encouragement for him. He smiled against her neck. The fight was over. He’d won and his reward would be sugar sweet. A sense of victory swelled through him.
John bit her. Her sharp gasp pierced his gut and hardened his cock. Wrapping one arm around her waist, he cupped her throat and sucked before nipping her again.
John bent, cradled her in his arms and walked down the hall. Something went soft in Livvy’s belly. Although a cliché, being carried to bed by the man she loved touched some secret place in her heart. In one move, John made her feel cherished, desired and so very feminine. He released her legs but their connection wasn’t lost. He cupped her face and dotted kisses along her cheeks. The wind howled, the rain poured and the thunder rumbled but Livvy only heard the beat of John’s heart mirroring her own.
“I loved it…I love you, Livvy.”
She frowned at him. “What?”
He brushed a soft kiss across her mouth. “I said I love you, Livvy.”
She pulled her mouth from his, staring to make sure she’d heard what she thought he’d said.
John fingered a long damp curl before looking at her. And then smiled. “I do, I love you.”
Tears formed before she willed them away. A sob blended with a laugh and she kissed him. She lost count of how many times she said it as she kissed him, but each time he repeated it, imprinting it on her heart.